Guide of Ciociaria

WELCOME IN CIOCIARIA

WELCOME TO LA PRETA NERA B&B!

Need to get away from it all? Grab a camera, go into the wild and discover acres of untouched backcountry! You will be treated to all kinds of amazing scenery, to hills alternating with ranges of mountains, to wide blue skies, to wild lakes, springs and waterfalls, to scenic valleys, to caves and underground cavities with spectacular stalactites, stalagmites and subterranean lakes, to scattered small hilltop villages.

  • Ciociaria: Sensational Scenery
  • Ciociaria: Fabulous Food
  • Ciociaria: Art & History
  • Ulysses Riviera
  • Ciociaria: sensational scenary
Ciociaria Mountain Park
  • Ciociaria includes the area of Simbruini Mountain Park, Ernici Mountains & Lepini Mountains, protected areas as well as the Latium part of one of the most famous natural parks in Italy Abruzzo National Park.
  • The Abruzzo National Park is the oldest in the Appennines and is considered to be very important because it preserves various animal species such as Chamois, Marsican Brown Bear and the Italian wolf. The park is also famous for the very rare lady’s slipper and black and yellow orchids.
  • Visit Collepardo and Pastena caves to admire the charming view of the stalactites, stalagmites, columns, lakes, roaring waterfalls and calcite draperies! The various outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the area trekking, cycling, canoeing, horse riding, bird watching, cross country skiing and caving and speleo adventure.
Ciociaria the most famous natural parks
Ciociaria the most famous natural parks

CIOCIARIA: FABULOUS FOOD

Yet imprecise in its geographical borders, Ciociaria has a culinary identity. The food is simple but tastes delicious. There are no fancy recipes. Ingredients stand on their own. It’s all about the earth here. They make the most of the ingredients themselves. Everything tastes so delicious because of the soil the crops grow in here and because of what they feed their animals.

OLIVES

Here the olive harvest is a tradition. It is still an important part of cooking, and that’s why they take care of every detail from the harvesting to the “monita”, that is the pressing of olives. You will love
a slice of rustic bread with a drizzle of the native olive oil of Ciociaria – Rosciola, fruity, a bit spicy, with light flavours of almond and artichoke. How olive oil is extracted from olives in Ciociaria.

CHEESES

Ciociaria Ccheese

PASTA

Specialities that cannot be missed are the main courses of home made fresh pasta “maccaruni cugli feri”, ravioli ricotta e cannella (ravioli with ricotta and cinnamon), strozzapreti (priest stranglers), pizzicotti, sagne pelose (hairy cuts of pasta), patacche (a sort of large cut egg noodles), gnocchi, le tagliatelle, “fini fini” all flavoured with tomato, meat or river fish sauces. And of course you will love deliciuos homemade soups – minestra di pane (bread soup) and zucca alla latta (pumpkin soup).

salumi in Ciociaria

CRESPELLE

Crespelle, served sweet or salted with vegetables, are simply to die for.

BREADS

Here the bread is fascinating. Its preparation is still connected to popular traditions: the bread is baked in a wood stove and is made with just four ingredients: yeast, water, salt and flour. The fermentation of the yeast is what gives this bread its tastiness. Click here to see how Bertina cooks real homemade Italian bread in Ciociaria.

pane in Ciociaria

Here cheese has no equal. Buffalo mozzarella (coming from Amaseno valley with 14,000 buffalos three times the number of human inhabitants) stands out for its supreme quality, the most delicate ricotta to be eaten with grape jam are unparalleled for tastiness, creamy pecorino made in small sizes according to the strict rules of tradition, “marzolina”, extremely tasty fresh cheese obtained
from goat’s milk in limited periods of the year, caciottas undergo a thorough maturing in the mountains.Buffalo mozzarella from Italy is the most difficult cheese to replicate.

Ciociaria pasta Italy

MEATS

Prosciutto di Guarcino, pork sausages, salami and in general all products of the pork-butcher’s are very good thanks to old techniques of breeding of pigs some of which are still reared in freedom in the mountain areas. The area is also famous for buffallo and goat meat dishes, deliciously stewed, cooked in wine until it almost braised or “alla cacciatora” (spiced).

TRUFFLES

truffe in Ciociaria

Ciociaria is truffle country too. Prized white truffles are celebrated in the fall, but during spring and summer special dishes are showered with aromatic dark brown or black truffles.

WINES

And let’s not forget about local wines. Cicociaria has been famous for its wines since ancient times and several zones produce excellent grapes. You will be surprised to find a variety of prestigious local wines, such as Cesanese of Piglio (the only DOCG Latium wine!), Passerina of Piglio, the Cabernet of Atina and Torre Ercolana of Anagni.

vini in Ciociaria

DESSERTS AND PASTRIES

Amaretti di Guarcino, Torroncini of the Comino Valley, La Pigna, Panpepato are delicacies that cannot be missed. And thez make here the best wine donuts of Italy “mbriachele”! from artisan Ciociarian deserts and pastries. Visiting Ciociaria means also plunging into a world of flavours. They alone represent a trip in its own. Come and visit for yourself to see why.

pasticceria Ciociara

CIOCIARIA: ART & HISTORY

Ferentino, Ciociaria, Italy

Discover a secret bit of central Italy, Ciociaria, filled with hidden gems, stunning landmarks and attractions to be uncovered and explored. You will be fascinated by walled towns, castles, fortresses and other medieval treasures of the region as well as by the most marvellous testimonies of preroman italic civilization cyclopic walls, that popular fantasy has imagined to be built by Cyclops, fabulous and gigantic figures from ancient mythology. And of course your visit would not be complete without stopping by beautiful monasteries and churches. Even if you’re not religious, these architectural masterpieces demand your attention just due to their history and their majesty! Everyone loves Italy and people seem to love the same destinations. Let us introduce you to a new spot, a new destination that, we are sure, you will love – CIOCIARIA!

LEGENDS AND TALES

Myths surround this mysterious land. It is strongly associated with the legend of Ulysses (the Roman name of Odysseus), and it seems this ancient hero left many traces here. In Terracina Ulysses buried his friend Elpenor, who fell off the roof of Circe’s stone house and broke his neck. On the island of Ponza Ulysses and powerful and dangerous sorceress Circe lived their love story that lasted for one year. Here his and Circe’s son Anteios was born, the one who would found Anzio years later. In Gaeta, on his way back to Ithaca, Ulysses met the Laesrygonians (powerful cannibal giants) who ate many of Ulysses’ men and destroyed eleven of his twelve ships by launching rocks from high cliffs.

ULYSSES RIVIERA

The legendary Ulysses Riviera, weaving its history with that of Ciociaria, extends halfway between Rome and Naples, in low Lazio, from Sperlonga to Minturno, through Formia and Gaeta and overlooks the Gulf of Gaeta with its charming Pontine Islands. The ecosystem here grants a perfect microclimate mild, windy and dry. The area is rich in nature, culture, art and history, and it’s all about magic and charm here.

Ulisse legenda
Riviera di Ulisse

CITY OF CIOCIARIA

ANAGNI

Anagni is frequently referred to as the city of the Popes. It was the Papal summer residence for long periods during the medieval age and four Popes were born there. The Cathedral of Anagni was constructed during the years 1071-1105 and its Romanesque facade looks like many others in Italy. But step into the crypt and things suddenly change. The frescoes covering the walls and ceiling
blaze with color and amaze with the range of images.

Anagni Ciociaria

CERTOSA DI TRISULTI (Collepardo)

Rising up at an altitude of 825 metres, immersed in secular oak woods of the Hernici Hills, bordering the National Park of Abruzzo, the Carthusian Monastery or Certosa is the perfect place to regenerate and find serenity, to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of emotions, art and culture.

Certosa Ditrisulti Ciociaria

FUMONE

“Quando Fumone fuma, tutta la Campagna trema” “when there is a smoke sign from Fumone, people from Campania – the medieval name of Ciociaria trembled”. The name of the town “Big smoke” comes about from an important function it once held sending smoke signals to warn Rome of advancing intruders. A stroll through a charming labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets will take you to the famous Castle of Fumone, known as Longhi Castle as per its owners Longhi family,who owns the castle since 1586. The castle is associated with ghosts, apparitions and strange noises. Are these tales legends or reality? … the choice is yours. The castle holds a beautiful surprise as well a splendid rooftop terrace garden at 800 meters above the sea level offering you mighty views of Ciociaria’s countryside!

Fumone Ciociaria

SAN DONATO VAL DI COMINO

The village of ancient houses, a labyrinths of stone characterized by winding tiny and narrow streets, covered passages and small squares, a perfect medieval design that had defensive and climatic necessities. The village, leaned on the slopes of the Apennines, on the cliffs of Monte Pizzuto, offers visitors fantastic views on the surrounding countryside. San Donato Val di Comino is listed within “I Borghi più Belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful villages of Italy) and has been awarded “La Bandiera Arancione” (an orange flag).

San Donato di Comino

CASAMARI ABBEY (Veroli)

Casamari Abbey has been in continuous service since the 13th century and today, approximately 20 monks continue to make their lives at the abbey. The public is welcome to visit and have a sample of the spiritual life of the faithful monks.

Abbazia di Casamari

VICO NEL LAZIO

Why should you visit Vico nel Lazio? This small town is surrounded by a medieval wall with 25 towers and three main gates that are kept basically intact form the Middle Age to our times and is rich of monuments and artisitic attractions that are many centuries old.

Vico nel Lazio

SERMONETA

A picturesque medieval town, a maze of narrow, winding streets, alleyways and steep flights of stairs. Set high, surrounded by hillsides that are covered with olive groves, chestnut and beech trees, enclosed by formidable fortified walls of limestone , Sermoneta, with its majestic castle, is really worth a visit!

Sermoneta

NINFA GARDENS

The most romantic garden in the world, a dream-like place, definitely a highlight of the entire region of Lazio. You will discover the ruins of a medieval town, of the castle and its walls, of churches and residential buildings, in a splendid natural settings.

giardini di Ninfa

ISOLA DEI LIRI

The name in itself seems intriguing, charming and poetical. It’s the only Italian town with two waterfalls within the old city limits. Enjoy the view of Cascata Grande, a vertical fall of 27 m, then walk through the historical centre to the smaller waterfall Cascata del Valtacatoio – you will be whirled along and you will want to stay at Isola dei Liri for as long as possible!

Isola del Liri

FERENTINO

Ferentino attracts tourists from all over the world. The primary reason for visiting this region is the fact that it has a large collection of ancient fortifications that have been preserved over the years and serve as a fine monument of ancient architecture. situated at the highest point and being a work of art of suggestive beauty, the Acropolis of Ferentino, together with its Cathedral and Episcopal Palace, is one of the most important sights of Ferentino is its acropolis.

Ferentino

ALATRI

There are cities that still today attract the interests of the experts, that still today arouse our curiosity. A city of Ciociaria that fits the description is Alatri. You would ask why? Nobody can explain how the city was established and that’s why the 19th century archaeological traditions claimed the city was founded by God Saturn.

Alatri

THE ABBEY OF MONTECASSINO

Perched on the mountain top, the Abbey of Montecassino is truly a unique place. It is charming in its timeless beauty and you will not find a better place to engage in prayer and meditation. The Abbey, full of history and life, is open to visitors although it is still a working monastery and pilgrimage site and, believe us, it ‘s worth making a special journey to see this incredible place!

Abbazia di Montecassino

BOVILLE ERNICA

The old town is released from cars and you can explore the Boville quietly. You will be amazed by its ancient narrow tortuous streets, charming small squares and alleys as well as by its architectural complexes of splendid palaces adorned with ornate portals, three-mullioned windows , valuable flooring and monumental staircases. And from here you can continue your walk along the city walls to enjoy grand views of the hills of Ciociaria. Boville Ernica is listed within “I Borghi più Belli d’Italia” (the most beautiful villages of Italy).

Boville Ernica

GAETA

Gaeta is one of the most spectacular towns in low Lazio. Although you will not find it in many guidebooks, it’s an extremely popular destination – it boasts seven fabulous beaches, has mazes of medieval streets, Roman monuments, ancient ruins, and revered churches. The historic center is dominated by a majestic Aragonese castle and 35 steps of staircase carved into the mountainside of
The Montagna Spaccata, or Split Mountain, will take you to the fissure in the mountain, which overlooks the ocean and surrounding countryside offering super panoramic views.

Gaeta

PONTINE ISLANDS

The Pontine Archipelago, full of beauty and charm, one of small pearls scattered in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is admired for its unique breathtaking scenery and nature.

sea riviera ulisse

TERRACINA

Why do they make daytrips to Terracina rain or shine? What makes this small city worth a one? Mount Circeo, the ancient quartier, the view from the Temple of Jove Anxur, the food, the music.

Terracina

SPERLONGA

Sperlonga didn’t make the official list of ‘Most Beautiful Villages in Italy’ for nothing a scenic white-washed village that dominates the bay with crystal-clear water boasts superb views of the cost from its terraces. Take a boat excursion, visit the Villa and Grotto of Tiberius, have a fresh fish lunch, stroll along the narrow streets of the town or rent an umbrella and a beach chair and just relax!

Sperlonga

CIRCEO NATIONAL PARK

The Circeo promontory, with its peak at approximately 1,775 feet above sea level, Selva di Circe, one of few of the best-preserved and largest plain forests existing in the country, the coastal dunes, a unique setting even for Italy, and the four successive littoral lakes – Fogliano, Monaci, Caprolace and Paola together make up this national park, set up in 1934.

Circeo
Sabaudia

BEACHES

The Riviera di Ulisse is distinguished by emerald and turquoise-colored crystal clear sea water and spectacular fine sand and gravel beaches. Many of the beaches are awarded Blue Flag for excellence and they tourists wanting to swim, sunbath, rock climb, surf, windsurf and sail.

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